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Bebop Spoken There

Fergus McCreadie: "I think a lot of the best music is very political, and there are so many things going on in the world that I'm constantly angry at. But for me making music is not the space for that" (Jazzwise July 2022)

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.
Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST! -- Holly Cooper:"Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14362 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 581 of them this year alone and, so far, 81 this month (June 26).

From This Moment On ...

June

Sun 26 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ Jackson’s Wharf, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. Outdoor (indoor if inclement weather).
Sun 26: Mississippi Dreamboats @ Springwell Village Community Venue, Gateshead. 2:30pm. A ‘1940s’ Weekend’ event (from 1:00pm).
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Free.
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.
Sun 26: Los Chichanos @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm. £10.00 adv., £12.00. door.

Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 28: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. House trio: Dean Stockdale, Paul Grainger, Sid White.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Four @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: 58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 30: Lights Out By Nine @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. 8:30pm. Free.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 30: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

July

Fri 01: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 01: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 01: Swing Manouche @ The Vault, Hexham. 7:30pm (doors). £20.00.
Fri 01: 1920s Speakeasy w live jazz @ The Exchange, North Shields. 8:00pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Fri 01: Struggle Buggy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. Blind Pig Blues Club. 8:00pm.

Sat 02: Hot Fingers @ St Augustine’s Parish Centre, Darlington. 12:30pm. £10.00.
Sat 02: Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. Tutor Steve Glendinning: Latin jazz. £25.00. Enrol at: www.jazz.coop.
Sat 02: Talk: Storytelling & jazz as an expression of urban life @ The Exchange, North Shields. 1:45pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event.
Sat 02: The Commandments + On Parole @ The Exchange, North Shields. 2:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Geordie Jazz Man @ The Exchange, North Shields. 5:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Screening of Abi Lewis’ documentary film about Keith Crombie & the Jazz Café.
Sat 02: The Delta Prophets Trio @ The Exchange, North Shields. 6:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Rhythm & blues.
Sat 02: Swing Manouche @ Claypath Deli, Durham. 7:00pm.
Sat 02: Swung Eight & King Bees @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:30pm. A Blues, Jazz & Swing Festival event. Swing dance + ace Chicago blues band.
Sat 02: Tyne Valley Big Band @ Greenside Community Centre, Ryton. 7:30pm.
Sat 02: Patrick Cromb @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Matt Mackellar Story - so far... Part 2 of 3.

BSH: That's your recent history. What's the story of your earlier days? Why did you choose drums? Who were your tutors? 

Matt: I had always been exposed to good music thanks to my Dad. He was always interested in the more complex side of popular music, which led me to have an appreciation for the likes of everything from Steely Dan to Jamiroquai. The first instrument I actually picked up was the guitar. I had a little toy guitar and microphone that I would use to perform songs I had learned in my church when I was very young. At around the age of 5 or 6, I started to become fascinated by the drums in church. I would always go up to the kit at the end of the service and want to have a little play. 

Deon Krishnan was really the one to first encourage me and see that I had some natural rhythm at a young age. I have an enduring memory of him teaching me my first beat on the kit and it sort of being a eureka moment. From then on my curiosity about the drums just kept growing. My parents took the decision to nurture this curiosity and invest in some lessons for me. 

My first teacher was Jeff Armstrong. I started with him at the age of 6, which was a baptism of fire in terms of my attitude towards progressing on the kit and taught me a lot about how to deal with critique and turn it into a desire to improve. He was absolutely critical in giving me a really solid technical base to my playing, and I wouldn’t have progressed nearly as much without his teaching. 

I later began lessons with Dave Lourie. Dave really pushed me to the next level with my playing, giving me a great education on playing with much more style and finesse and tailoring his teaching to my interests at a given time, which helped instil a passion for the instrument in me. 

I then began lessons with Geoff Hutchinson, who really transformed my work ethic for the instrument and helped me get a true picture of what needed to be done if I wanted to make my dream to play music as a career a reality. All of my teachers have been absolutely essential in my development and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them!

BSH: What was your practice routine back then? Your neighbours must have been very understanding!

Matt: When I first set out, I hated practicing! It felt like torture to me when I was very young. With a bit of encouragement from my parents, I would make some progress and reach small milestones. This process slowly made me realise that nothing would be achieved without putting any work in. Slowly as I grew up, I started to practice more, which my teachers would see and in response give me more challenging material to work on in order to push me forward. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I really started to enjoy practicing and start to work on not only the tasks that were given to me by my teachers but my own personal challenges. 

The final few years before I went off to college, practice became more of an obsession than a chore. I’d get home from school and just practice until curfew! Yes my neighbours were incredibly understanding. Luckily, they were close family friends and were always happy to hear me doing something that I loved doing.

BSH: You will, no doubt, recall a memorable session at the Jazz Cafe when, in addition to playing drums, you surprised many by playing guitar! Did you/do you dream of becoming a rock guitar god?! Who taught you the rudiments? 

Matt: Yeh that was a scary time… I had never played guitar publicly before that session but I was lucky to have my guitar teacher and mentor John Wilson there to support me. I’m not sure why I became interested in learning how to play guitar but I’m so glad I did. Playing a harmonic instrument really helped me develop my ear and understanding of jazz music. I was able to use this knowledge to try and inject more musicality into my drumming as I began to understand the process behind crafting a song as well as a melodic improvisation. This knowledge also really gave me a step up in learning how to compose for school and college. John was a great teacher to me and always focused on things I was interested in at that particular time; he’s also a fantastic player!

BSH: And so to Berklee. You set your sights on winning a place at the prestigious American institution. Tell us about the application process? Where did you audition - here in Britain or in the US?

(To be continued tomorrow ...)

Part One.

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